GOP gets set to unveil ‘.gop’

Republicans are moving one step closer to claiming unique territory on the Internet: Websites that end in “.gop.”

The Republican State Leadership Committee, a group that focuses on electing Republicans to state-level offices, won custody of the domain in the spring after an Internet governing body invited groups to vie for hundreds of new domains.

Now, in a plan first shared with POLITICO, the committee is soliciting information from Republicans interested in having .gop sites. It is operating on an internal timeline that would allow those sites to get up and running by the first quarter of 2014.

“At the RSLC, we do pride ourselves on trying to look a little further down the road and take a longer view of things,” Chairman Ed Gillespie said in an interview, citing work the committee already does to recruit local candidates who may rise into the ranks of the national party one day. “I think we’re well positioned for that.”

The domain project fits into that vision, Gillespie said, because it can potentially “foster a broader sense of community” for Republicans on the Internet and boost GOP branding through sites such as or

Most people and groups seeking sites with .gop domains will be able to register them in “real time,” said President Chris Jankowski in a statement. “But certain names that are especially relevant to our community are subject to a different process for registration which is standard industry practice.”

Those premium sites – and are two possibilities – won’t be doled out on a first-come, first-served basis. Rather, the committee says it will seek to find the right custodian for those sites, to take the lead on developing them, or to forge partnerships between multiple Republican groups to manage them.

And the committee is developing a process to screen out mischief-makers who don’t actually represent Republican groups or candidates.

“There’ll be a process,” Gillespie said. “We don’t want people who are actually interested in harming the Republican Party [to get] a .gop, or people who espouse views that are antithetical to the party, or contrary to the United States for that matter, or offensive in terms of how they would operate it. So yeah, there is an element of control here.” … 

Read the full article at POLITICO.

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